Microsoft Frontpage Replacement

Microsoft discontinued FrontPage, so what is the replacement or alternative?


Edited: 2021-03-22 21:17

Microsoft Frontpage was a popular WYSIWYG editor used to build websites visually, eliminating the need to know HTML and CSS. The editor suffered from problems causing the design not to look as expected, and it also did not follow the web standards, which made it very difficult to get the same result in all browsers.

Most professionals code by hand using basic text editors such as Notepad++, Gedit, or IDEs like Eclipse. The WYSIWYG editor is mostly aimed at hobbyist and people creating small personal websites.

Today, Content Management Systems (CMS) provides a better solution than traditional WYSIWYG editors, also eliminating the requirement or need to know coding. The design of a site can easily be customized, either by using themes, or by changing the default theme of the CMS.

What happened to Frontpage?

Frontpage was discontinued somewhere around 2006, and was replaced by a new editor called Expression Web. The new editor should adhere more closely to web standards, but like with all WYSIWYG editors, one should still be careful about what the editor actually dose to the code.

The last version of Microsoft FrontPage is FrontPage 2003.

Unlike FrontPage, Expression is now a free product which can be downloaded from Microsoft's website.

Alternatives to FrontPage

Today, using a CMS is better than designing your own page using WYSIWYG tools. This is because it is very complicated to design a website and make it work in different screen resolutions and devices.

Typically modern websites are made to gracefully degrade when viewed on mobile devices, something that's very difficult to automate with a WYSIWYG editor.

Another problem is the server sided code used to connect your design with your database. If you are using a CMS, then this will already have been taken care of for you, but with static site builders like FrontPage, you would still need to learn some coding to connect with a database.

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